Banding Techniques in Chromosome Analysis

  • Peerzada Arshid Shabir
  • Aijaz Ahmad Wani
  • Irshad A. Nawchoo


Chromosome identification has been traditionally based on morphological features of individual chromosomes such as chromosome length, arm ratio and primary and secondary constriction collectively called as karyotype. A number of stains such as acetocarmine, Feulgen and aceto-orcein all of them being whole chromosome stains have been used in these studies. Although classical staining helps in studying chromosome morphology, structural and numerical variations, however, morphologically similar chromosomes cannot be distinguished. The utilization of fluorescent and other dyes together with various modifications in pretreatment of cytological material in the late 1960s led to the discovery of various banding techniques which proved to be additional tool for identification of individual chromosomes. New and reliable staining procedures were introduced; each was capable of revealing a unique banding pattern of the chromosomes of a given species. The advantage with banding techniques is that they can resolve morphologically similar as well as different chromosomes and help in understanding the chromosome organization. Chromosome banding is a lengthwise variation in staining properties along a chromosome based on the GC- or AT-rich regions or constitutive heterochromatin. A single dye or fluorochrome can often be used to produce a banding pattern on a chromosome. A band is a part of chromosome which is clearly distinguishable from its adjacent segment by appearing darker or lighter with various banding methods. The Paris Conference – 1971 – classified banding techniques as Q–banding (fluorescence based), C–banding (constitutive heterochromatin (AT- or GC-rich DNA)), G–banding (whole length banding (Giemsa staining)), R–banding (reverse of G–banding) and Ag-NOR stain (nucleolar organizing regions). All these banding techniques have led to a more precise cytogenetic and phylogenetic analysis of various eukaryotes. The major applications of banding techniques have been the mapping of genes on chromosomes and identification of chromosome alterations such as deletions, duplications, translocations and aneuploidy. They have also played an important role in measuring the amount of heterochromatin among individuals.


Acrocentric Chromosome Constitutive Heterochromatin Banding Technique Plant Chromosome Barium Hydroxide 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peerzada Arshid Shabir
    • 1
  • Aijaz Ahmad Wani
    • 2
  • Irshad A. Nawchoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Economic Botany and Reproductive Biology Laboratory, Department of BotanyUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia

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